We've had Sling TV for well over a year. The first time I talked about it, I was super obsessed with HGTV and not much has changed, but I wanted to do a full post on it in case you were considering cutting the cable cord.
First, a little background. I never had cable growing up. I'm much more of a DVD kinda gal. KC did, so it was a bit of an adjustment when we moved out. I had gotten used to having cable when I lived with them as well, aka I had gotten used to say yes to the dress and HGTV. We briefly looked into cable, but holy expensive.
We are way more into the internet as a whole, I know some people couldn't survive without cable, we could not survive without internet. Well we could, but then we'd most likely kill each other. So we chose great internet, no cable. We had his dad's log in to something or other so KC could watch some sports, or we would go to friends/his mom's house if he just had to watch something. When we moved out of the apartment and into the house, we looked into it again, still just as expensive, but this time we decided to go ahead and do it.. but AT&T never showed up to install it (twice) so we just cancelled it before it had begun.
Then we discovered Sling. It was like the cable gods heard me say 'I would totally pay $10 for HGTV per month' and KC saying 'I would totally pay $10 a month for ESPN'. Would you look at that, Sling has both HGTV and ESPN and it's only $20 something a month.
Their slogan is take back tv. No hidden fees, no long term contracts.
You can add extras (at a price, of course).
So what's the catch? Well, honestly, there really isn't a catch. There is nothing that you'll be kicking yourself about, in my opinon. But there are definite pros and cons.
Um, it is $20 a month. TWENTY. How much do you pay for cable?
It is $20 a month, did I mention that?
You can rewind! Some of the channels. Look, I'll be honest, I am in a monogamous TV relationship with HGTV and I don't stray. I do know you can't rewind on ESPN because KC has tried it, but on HGTV I can go back like 5 days or something, which means there is always something on.
It's available anywhere. I can log in at work and watch HGTV if I want. Computer, TV, xbox, phone. I don't have an ipad but I'm sure it's on that too.
No set up, no cancellation fees, no contract. Can your cable say that?
It's by Dish so it's not some crazy weird company you've never heard of.
New channels all the time. They are adding new channels all the time, and sometimes we get HBO or whatever for a week or something. Like I said, I'm married to HGTV but I think I have seen new channels because I have to scroll further to the right to get to HGTV now.
One device at a time. This isn't a big deal because up until recently we only had one TV, but generally KC and I don't fight over what to watch. I do get pretty cranky around football season when I just want to watch some bloody HGTV, but now I can go into the other room (and take the amazon fire stick with me) and KC can watch football on normal TV, because I think it's on normal TV, right? Anyway, so this might be an issue for you if you want to watch HGTV and someone else wants to watch ESPN. They do have another service that allows multiple devices to stream at one time, but I don't really get the difference apart from that and our service works fine, so...
Connection. This is a pretty big one... we have pretty damn good internet but sometimes if we are downloading or if we have multiple devices going, the sling app will get all distorted and blurry. It usually rights itself within like 10-20 seconds, and it doesn't bother me on HGTV but it might bother you when watching a serious sport thing.
Connection 2: This is a different issue but I don't know what to call them because techie I am not. Sometimes we will click on the sling app, and it will show us the loading screen and then kick us out, like 5 times. We restart our amazon fire stick thingy and it normally fixes it. It's annoying, but not life threatening, again I'm sure it would be way more annoying if you super wanted/had to watch something right this very minute.
For both of these connection issues, honestly, they were fairly bad when we first got Sling, but it rarely happens anymore.
No DVR. Not a big deal to me, might be for you.
Lack of certain channels. Again, not a big deal for me, but if you don't see your favourite channel (bravo, E, etc) that might be a deal breaker for you.
Smart TV / Amazon fire stick - this isn't really slings fault, but it is annoying all the same. We just got a new tv a couple months ago, and it's one of those smart doodads- we have a netflix button on our remote, how cool is that? We also have other app thingys, but not sling. womp. womp. womp. That really annoys me because I HATE the amazon fire stick. It is so annoying. But, it's a small annoyance for having such a cool service like sling. I hope that somehow sling is added to our tv down the line, but I don't know if that's a thing. The reason I don't like the amazon fire stick is because it's small and annoying. It works fine and all that.
So are you interested in Sling?
What are your options? Well, first off, you can do a free 7 day trial! You do have to put in credit card details and such, but you can just cancel online before the 7 days are up if it's not your jam.
Here is what we did: we signed up for the free 7 day trial and realised we had no way to watch it on our TV. You need some sort of something in between, like an amazon fire stick or a roku tv. So I jumped back online and realised they were offering a free amazon fire stick, all you had to do was pay for 3 months up front, so we did, and we've been happy sling tv watchers ever since. But now, alas, no free fire stick.
But, you can get $50 off the amazon fire tv thingy, which is $100, so you only pay $50. Click here to get this deal.
Or you can buy an amazon fire stick thingy, which is what we have. It's only $40. You wouldn't have to pay for 3 months up front if you did this.
If you don't want to go with amazon, they have roku deals:
I obviously don't know anything about roku so I can't give you my opinion on that.
All of these deals are for new customers by the way, so when we got the amazon fire stick after doing our free trial, we had to switch email addresses to become 'new' customers, if that makes sense.
Pricing - I know I keep saying it is $20 a month, but with taxes or whatever else, it's $21.07.
Now, if you are happy with cable or you have no desire to get sling, or you have some other sort of service, whatever, that's cool, I'm just sharing our experience and how much we still love sling. Obviously this is 100% not sponsored, I get zero anything for talking about it, we pay for this service every month and will continue to do so unless they get rid of HGTV.
We also have Netflix, which is less than $10 a month, and we normally use this for TV shows and some movies, but we definitely use Sling more because it feels more like 'real TV'. You know?
It might not be as good as cable in some aspects, but for $20... It's pretty good.